Most management software is delivered as an online service. A typical package provides a resume-like profile that workers and managers can update anytime. When a review period rolls around, employees rank themselves on skills and competencies listed by the company. (Aetna, for example, has 43 for each position, ranging from "Can program C++" to "Performs case reviews.")
Managers can adjust the employees' self-ratings up or down and then, during face-to-face reviews, discuss and finalize them. Employees who need improvement can use the software to find online courses, completion of which is recorded by the system.
Meanwhile, managers and the human resources department have a consistent view of each employee's skills and performance and can spot in advance any gaps in their succession plans.